MMDA chair says #MMShakeDrill 2019 shows 'effective' response to disaster
MANILA, Philippines – Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Danilo Lim said the conduct of earthquake scenario drills in Metro Manila on Saturday, July 27, has boosted his confidence in the government's capability to "respond effectively" in times of disaster.
As part of earthquake drills in Metro Manila, simulation areas were set up at Republic Mall, Sta Cruz, Manila in the west quadrant, and near Midas Hotel and Casino, Pasay in the south quadrant. (READ: IN PHOTOS: MMDA conducts 2019 #MMShakeDrill in the dark)
“Nakita natin kanina (We saw a while ago), they were able to use their equipment and kung paano nila ginawa 'yung iba't ibang scenario (how they did different kinds of scenario). I'm confident that with this kind of equipment, training, and people, we would be very able to respond effectively.”
Lim admitted that local government units in Metro Manila, which took part in the drills, still lacked rescue equipment and tools, but he was confident that “we have the equipment to respond effectively.”
“Siyempre may mga item pa rin na nasa wishlist. Lahat ng local government units nagpupursige to get the best gamit. Pero hindi 'yun dahilan para 'di tayo makapagtrabaho,” he said.
(Of course, there are still items that are still in the wishlist. All government units strive to get the best [rescue] tools. But that isn't enough reason for us to not be able to work.)
At the Republic Mall in Sta. Cruz, Manila, earthquake scenario drills started at 8:36 am as soon as Lim and his entourage arrived.
At least two people were "rescued" from the Republic Mall building's third floor using a firetruck ladder, and 4 others through rappelling. The activity also included a simulated rescue of a person trapped in a burning multicab using tools to pry open cars.
According to Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Colonel Jonas Silvano, the earthquake scenario simulation was finished at around 9:16 am, with a total of 20 people rescued from simulated multiple building fires.
“We admit that there were lapses in our drill today, but we just keep practicing until we become the most disaster-prepared area in Manila and the Philippines,” Silvano said.
At around 10 am, Lim and his team raced off to the south quadrant situation site near Midas Hotel in Pasig City.
Among the highlights of the earthquake drill demonstration were snuffing out a vehicular fire, assisting a pregnant woman in labor, and mass evacuation.
The 2019 #MMShakeDrill started as early as 4 am to test the response capabilities and preparedness of local government units and the private sector in Metro Manila “at a time when most Metro Manila residents are at home and asleep.” (READ: Metro Manila residents on pre-dawn #MMShakeDrill: 'What a wake-up call')
This year's simulation was the fifth consecutive earthquake drill in Metro Manila, which aims to prepare, assess, and strengthen Metro Manila in responding to the "Big One" – the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that could hit the metropolitan area in our lifetime if the West Valley Fault moves. (READ: What dangers await when the West Valley Fault moves?)
It was also the first drill that coincided with a real earthquake, though farther up north in Batanes where twin earthquakes killed several people, hurt many others, and destroyed homes and structures on Saturday morning. – Rappler.com
Enrico Berdos is a Rappler intern. He studies journalism at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.